Dahlias for the Garden

This website will focus on the gardener who is interested in adding a few dahlia plants to an existing garden.

Why plant a dahlia?
  • Long blooming season
  • Great colors
  • Extraordinary range of size and forms
  • Easy Maintenance
Do I have to dig and store dahlias in the fall?
  • No!!  Grow them as annuals and forget about digging them after frost.
What if I want to dig them?  Do I have to wait for a frost?
  • No,  the plants can be dug anytime after mid-October.  The tubers will be mature.
What if I grow in an area without a frost?
  • Lucky you!!  It is still good to dig and divide the plants about every two years, and divide them.  Each tuber is a spearate plant that is competing for moisture and nutrients.
If I leave the tubers in the ground after frost kills the plant will they come up next year?
  • Maybe?  If your soil is sandy and drains well and the frost line does not reachthe tubers, there is a good chance you will see sprouts next Spring. When you cut the stalks, make sure the stump is solid or covered with plastic or aluminum foil.  Some mulch on top will provide a little insulation.

More Information:

What if I want to dig and save a dahlia plant?
  • There are a lot of ways to save a dahlia plant. The American Dahlia Society and the Colorado Dahlia Society have adetailed essays on the subject:  www.dahlia.org. The process includes cutting the plant stalk a few inches above ground and gently digging the clump of tubers out of the ground.  Remove the extra dirt from the clump, and if the stalk is hollow, punch a hole though the bottom of the clump.  This will drain out any moisture.  After a day or two, put the clump in a box with newspaper or in a plastic bag with vermiculite or peat moss. Store the package until spring in as cool location as possible–provided the temperature will not go below freezing. 
  • These are the bare essentials.  There is a lot of literature on the internet about additional steps that will increase the chance for viable tubers in spring.